It's Spring! I feel it in my bones. I have been watching the critters come alive, the snow and stream melt, and tree maple trees start to bud. All week, I have eagerly awaited Sunday ... it is time to tap the maple trees.
Last year, we put in eight taps. Our usage rate was very high in early Spring and Summer. At this point, we have less than a half-pint left from last year. We are going to change our processing methodology this year, too. Last year, I stored up 100 gallons of sap before processing ... do you know how long it takes to boil down that much sap?! I spent a few weekends (20 hours per) boiling in the backyard over a fire. As a result, I lost some of the sap, which I offered back to the trees with my thanks and gratitude. This year, we are going to try to boil smaller batches every night.
The day has finally arrived. I woke up and reviewed Backyard Sugaring. I've asked the neighbors for permission to tap some of their trees again, even though we probably have enough maples on our property to support our miniscule ten taps. I have five more buckets, spouts, and lids on order from The Maple Guys. Maybe, we'll expand again next year. Of course, then I may need to think about an evaporator like this.
Imagine my surprise, when I finish tapping the first hole, when nothing starts dripping. Self doubt and panic set in. Could my intuition be wrong? Then, I am only putting in two for now as indicators.
A while later, I walk by and hear the tell tale drip, drip, drip. I check the weather, and low and behold, and find it is just now above freezing! You may or may not know that the sap only flows during hours when the temperature is above freezing. My intuition is right on! I guess part of re-leaning lost wisdom is also learning to trust your intuition. Something, which I admit, I normally do not have a problem doing! We will be putting the rest in this afternoon. I am sure there will be more to follow on this sugaring season.